Jesse Stout has special expertise in cannabis policy, regulation, and legislation. He is based in San Francisco.
After law school, Mr. Stout served as the policy director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), an activist law office dedicated to advancing the civil and human rights of formerly incarcerated people. In this role he led the organization’s state and local lobbying efforts, tracking hundreds of bills and connecting formerly incarcerated people with legislators. Victories included AB 218 in 2013 (initial applications for public jobs in California cannot ask about conviction history), SB 405 in 2015 (California courts cannot require defendants to pay before scheduling appearances), SB 504 in 2015 (no fee to seal juvenile records), and the San Francisco Fair Chance Act. Mr. Stout also co-counseled successful civil rights impact litigation, including Scott v. Bowen restoring the voting rights of over 60,000 formerly incarcerated Californians, and Sassman v. Brown ending gender-discrimination against male prisoners applying for release under California’s Alternative Custody Program. His work on Sassman v. Brown earned him a 2016 CLAY Award (Attorney of the Year) from the Daily Journal.
Prior to law school, Mr. Stout served as the executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), a partnership of over twenty statewide health and justice organizations. In this role, he led the organization’s successful efforts to pass state laws protecting seriously ill Rhode Islanders’ right to safely access medical cannabis. The 2006, 2007, and 2009 Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Acts were all enacted over gubernatorial vetoes. In the course of this work, Mr. Stout created a grassroots network of patients and caregivers, helped their voices be heard in the media and the legislature, and personally testified before legislative committees in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He also conducted RIPAC’s public education campaign, organizing accredited professional trainings for doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers, and lawyers, including teaching Continuing Legal Education seminars for the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender. While and after working with legislators to craft bills and amendments, Mr. Stout closely liaised with the Rhode Island Department of Health to ensure smooth implementation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.
- Appointed Member, San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Task Force (2015-Present)
- Advisory Council, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (2015-Present)
- Board of Governors, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (2014-Present)
- Co-Chair, National Lawyers Guild Drug Policy Committee (2009-Present)
- J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- B.A., English, Brown University
- U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.)
- U.S. District Court (E.D. Cal.)